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Civil societies set 12-point agenda for public office seekers

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Some civil societies under the umbrella of Human Rights Agenda Network have spelt 12 issues for politicians seeking public offices in the February general elections.
A statement co-signed by the ‎network’s chairman, Chino Obiagwu, and it’s coordinator, Melissa Omene, said on Sunday that Nigerians would determine their choice in the elections based on the agenda.
Issues raised in the agenda include youth unemployment, petroleum sector, human security, protection of minorities, corruption and power sector.
Other issues in the agenda are women’s rights, international obligations, justice sector reform, children issues, education and values and ethics.

The network comprising over 303 registered civil societies, said the setting of the agenda became necessary “due to concerns that key human rights and livelihood issues have not been addressed by the presidential, governorship and other political candidates during the lead up to the 2015 general elections.”
The statement read in part, “Speak directly to Nigerians in respect of the following prevailing livelihood and human rights issues and we Nigerians will vote based on concrete agendas:

“Youth unemployment: Today, 80 per cent of youths are reportedly unemployed or under-employed. Explain your strategy for tackling the issue of youth unemployment with particular reference to the empowerment of young girls.

“Petroleum sector: How will you improve the downstream petroleum sector via policies towards production and refining petroleum products?

“Human security: How will you ensure the security of lives and property in Nigeria, with particular reference to the insurgency in the North-East and North-West regions? How can you reduce the quantity of small arms and light weapons that are illegally found in hands of people which increases insecurity of lives and properties in Nigeria?

“Protection of minorities: Religious, tribal and economic minorities as well as persons living with disability have suffered greatly from misgovernance. How will you address the challenge of misgovenance?

“Corruption: Explain in detail how you intend to tackle the issue of corruption in the private and public spheres in Nigeria.

“Power sector: Poor power has negatively affected Nigeria’s economy. What is your practical agenda in increasing access to regular and consistent electricity?

“Women’s rights: What measures will be taken by your government to ensure that women are protected from all forms of gender based violence and are given equal opportunities in the work place and in politics? What do you plan to do as regards ensuring affirmative action for women?

“International obligations: How will you increase Nigeria’s compliance with its obligations under international treaties including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (UN CEDAW), and the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UN CAT)?

“Justice sector reform: If elected, how do you intend to reform the justice sector, with particular reference to the police, prisons and lengthy delays in determining a case? What is your position on the death penalty in Nigeria?

“Children: What is your party’s master plan for improving the status of Nigerian children with particular reference to education, health care, maltreatment including early marriages and the domestication and implementation of the Child Rights Act?

“Education: How can you fully implement the Universal Basic Education Act which has been partially implemented and how will you rescue the failing standard of education at all levels?

“Values & ethics: How will you define and implement Nigerian values and ethics in the public domain? Do you think values and ethics are important in governance?”

The statement added, “Democracy demands that politicians set concrete agendas upon which the electorate can select a suitable leader who can be held accountable using the concrete agenda promised.‎”
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